Friday February 14, 2003Softball Shuts Out Opponents in Gator Invite
The University of Florida softball team (10-4) did not allow a run in its two wins Friday in the first day of action at the 2003 Gator Invitational at Florida Softball Stadium. It took little more than an hour for Florida to defeat Birmingham-Southern 8-0 in five innings, and the Gators cruised to a 4-0 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga for their second win.
Florida coach Karen Johns said she was happy with the Gators’ start to the three-day, four-team tournament.
"I was very pleased with our pitching," Johns said. "I thought they did a great job. Two shutouts for the first time this season— I’m happy with that."
Behind junior pitcher Amanda Moore’s (4-1) one-hit performance on the mound and a school-record three triples at the plate set by the team, the Gators were able to put the eight-run rule into effect to end the game in the bottom of fifth inning against Birmingham-Southern (3-3). Junior Jenilee Garner’s two-RBI triple that inning ended the game to give Florida the quick victory.
Senior Jackie Marchetta went 2-for-2 with two triples against Birmingham-Southern to set a career and Florida record for most triples in a game by an individual. Marchetta has three triples this season, which equals the amount she took into the game for her career.
Florida junior Mylin Prieto went 2-for-3 with a season-high three RBI, a double and a triple.
Moore struck out four in allowing a career-low one hit. The hit she allowed came in the third inning off the bat of Kristen Fuhrmann.
"I just feel all of us are gelling, and it’s coming together," Moore said.
With the Gators leading Birmingham-Southern 6-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Garner hit the game-winning triple to score pinch-running junior Andrea Magura and freshman Lindsay Norfleet.
The Gators wasted no time in scoring their first of eight runs off Birmingham-Southern starter Erin Haggard (1-2). Marchetta’s lead-off triple in the first inning began a two-run inning.
Freshman Lindsey Cameron’s RBI single in the following at-bat scored Marchetta for Florida’s first run. After stealing second base, Cameron was brought home on senior Jennifer Mossadeghi’s RBI single up the middle that put Florida up 2-0.
The Gators added two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Prieto’s two-RBI triple to right-center field with two outs scored Mossadeghi and Cameron to give Florida a 4-0 lead.
Another Marchetta triple began the fifth and final inning for the Gators. She scored on the next at-bat when Cameron’s grounder was mishandled at shortstop.
Prieto’s two-out, RBI double put Florida up 6-0 and set the stage for Garner to end the game.
Against UT-Chattanooga in their second game, the Gators set a school record with seven stolen bases to go along with the 4-0 win. Florida stole five bases in the fourth inning alone, which helped it score all four of its runs that inning.
Junior Florida pitcher Jenny Gladding (3-2) struck out 11 to earn the complete game win. The win marked the second time this season Gladding has struck out 10 or more in a game.
Gladding struck out the final three batters to end the game after UT-Chattanooga started the inning with the bases loaded.
Junior Jenilee Garner set a career and Florida record with three stolen bases in the game. Garner also went 1-for-2.
Sophomore Mandy Schuerman had two hits for the Gators.
As was the case against Birmingham-Southern, a lead-off triple began Florida’s scoring against UT-Chattanooga in the fourth inning. Freshman Lindsey Cameron’s lead-off triple to right-center field began the Gators’ four-run inning.
Senior Jennifer Mossadeghi’s RBI single to left field scored Cameron on the next at-bat for the Gators’ first run of the fourth. After Awbrey Winckler was brought in relief of UT-Chattanooga starting pitcher Sara Meek (2-3), senior Mylin Prieto lined a RBI single to right field to score pinch-running senior Jennifer Brown.
Gladding hit a RBI single two at-bats later, and freshman Lindsay Norfleet stole home to give Florida the 4-0 lead. Had it not been for a leaping catch by UT-Chattanooga shortstop Bryn Favor of a Cameron two-out smash with the bases loaded, Florida would have added to its fourth-inning scoring.
Florida returns to action Saturday when it faces Southern Miss at 1:30 p.m. in the second day of the 2003 Gator Invitational at Florida Softball Stadium. Seeded play is schedule to begin afterward, with the Gators playing in either the 4 p.m. (seed 1 vs. seed 4) or 6:30 p.m. (seed 2 vs. seed 3) game.
In the first game of the 2003 Gator Invitational, Southern Mississippi defeated Birmingham-Southern 2-1 on Heather Bell’s two-run, walk-off home run.
Southern Miss improved to 3-1 on the season while Birmingham-Southern fell to 3-2.
The pitching duel between Southern Miss’ Jessica Holaway (2-1) and Birmingham Southern’s Kristina Villavicenci (1-1) came down to the final at-bat. With two outs, Bell sent the pitch over the right-field wall to score two and decide the game.
Holaway pitched a complete game with four strikeouts.
Birmingham-Southern scored its only run in the top of the third inning on Nikki Rombough’s RBI double.
Game two of the 2003 Gator Invitational was the first upset of the tournament with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga defeating Southern Mississippi 5-1.
UT-Chattanooga improved to 2-6 while Southern Miss drops to 3-2 on the season.
UT-Chattanooga Sara Meek (2-2) earned the win after pitching 2.2 innings of relief. Southern Miss pitcher Danielle Wymer (1-1) took the loss after allowing six hits and three earned runs.
UT-Chattanooga was led by Jennifer Reed. She went 2-for-3 with a RBI and run scored. Reed also had nine putouts, including a key catch in the final inning.
The two teams remained scoreless through four innings until Southern Miss scored a run in the fifth inning off a single from Auriel Jenkins. She went 2-for-3 with a RBI.
UT-Chattanooga scored five runs off five hits in the bottom of the sixth inning. Lindsey Brown’s two-RBI double started its scoring in the inning.